Collaboration, Co-creation, and Creative Development
Join us for the pilot edition of the 2023 Industry Stages, an artist-focused event empowering theatre professionals and nurturing the creation of impactful, relevant art. This unique platform connects artists, presenters, producers, funders, and supporters, focusing on empowering theatre professionals and fostering collaboration and partnerships.
The event goals for the 2023 pilot program are:
Uniting theatre makers: Bringing together industry stakeholders, including festival curators, artists, and other professionals, to create a collaborative and supportive environment for creative risk taking.
Igniting artistic development: Fostering growth and innovation in the local theatre community by providing opportunities for learning, collaboration, and networking.
Empowering the future of theatre: Supporting artists to excel in their craft by offering discussions, and mentorship opportunities that contribute to their professional development.
Facilitating collaboration and partnerships: Encouraging stakeholders to work together, form partnerships, and drive growth in the theatre community through various networking opportunities and collaborative sessions.
As a pilot program, we are excited to introduce this new initiative and invite your feedback to help shape the future of our Industry at Stages. Please feel welcome.
Industry Co-producers | Richie Wilcox & Dustin Harvey
INDUSTRY SERIES, STAGES 2023
(Photo by James Arthur MacLean)
Kick off the 2023 Industry Stages with our Opening Night Mixer – a casual, fun-filled event designed to connect theatre professionals, visiting curators, and strategic partners.
First, unwind in a laid-back setting with comfortable seating, light refreshments, and background music to set the tone and break the ice for engaging conversations. Then, our visiting curators and guest mentors deliver 1- 2 minute introductions on what they do, showcasing their projects and ideas. An open mic follows, providing an opportunity to share your welcomes or ideas in a supportive and collaborative environment.
Throughout the Industry Series, continue conversations, exchange contact information, and schedule follow-up meetings in designated spaces.
Don't miss this exciting opportunity to meet, mingle, and connect at the Opening Night Mixer, setting the stage for a memorable 2023 Industry Stages!
Experience Dartmouth's artistic charm like never before with our unique Artist Walks. Designed as a slow speed dating-inspired networking event, you'll connect with fellow creators as you stroll through the neighborhoods that have shaped local artists' practice and identity. Engage in inspiring conversations while enjoying the refreshing outdoors. An opportunity to immerse yourself in Dartmouth's vibrant art scene, forge lasting relationships with fellow artists, and explore the city's hidden gems.
Meaningful Connections in Small Groups:
Curated in intimate groups, these walks encourage genuine connections and lively discussions. Please review the distinct experiences offered by each artist and let us know your top two preferences.
Embracing the Elements:
June in Dartmouth can be beautiful and can also be rainy—bring an umbrella!
Join us for an unforgettable networking experience and uncover the creative pulse of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
Artist Walk Descriptions:
Let's prototype the future of theatre experiences at our Speedy Roundtable, where artists and industry professionals connect for an engaging exploration of evolving media landscapes at Stages.
Dive into cutting-edge new media and immersive technologies through 5-minute live demos, designed as icebreakers and conversation starters, followed by guided discussions in a rotating roundtable format. Featured demos include Frequencies' virtual reality theatre, Archive of Missing Things’ digital scavenger hunt, asses.masses’ video game dramaturgy, Version 2.0’s augmented reality dance form, and Alone Together's self-generated theatre using OpenAI’s GPT.
While engaging with these demos, use them to spark dialogue and answer questions like:
How are artists experimenting with immersive technologies, and how do they align with the values and mission of theatre experiences?
What aspects of these innovations feel intuitive, and what feels awkward in audience interactions?
What key insights and creative potentials can we gain from these prototypes to shape the future of theatre experiences, and what are the warning signs to watch out for?
After the demos, all groups will come together for a collaborative brainstorming session, generating fresh ideas and solutions for challenges and opportunities in the evolving media landscape. Drawing upon the insights gathered from the interactive demos and discussions, we will work together to develop and refine a prototype for the future of theatre experiences. Immerse yourself in thought-provoking discussions, interactive demos, and innovative brainstorming at this exciting Interactive Roundtable event!
Join us for an insightful and inspiring talk with SGS, a renowned theatre maker with a practice in directing, dramaturgy, change making and artistic leadership. SGS co-stewards Birchdale in Southwest Nova with her partner Tracey Erin Smith and is currently leading the National Creation Fund at the NAC. SGS has been instrumental in the development of groundbreaking and innovative theatre practice and production across Canada. Among her many accomplishments, and as part of her earlier work at the NAC, SGS created The Collaborations and The Cycles, she was also the founding Associate Artists of the Magnetic North Theatre Festival, the co-founder of SpiderWebShow and the FOLDA festival, Artistic Director of Buddies in Bad Times, co-led the directing program at NTS and has been recognized nationally and internationally for their directing and dramaturgy work. Collaboration and creative partnerships has been at the centre of their work since the first theatre they co-founded, during the last century, The Baby Grand Theatre in Kingston Ontario.
Building on their work with Owais Lightwala and their MANIFESTO FOR NOW, SGS will delve into how we need to think about collaboration and innovation in shaping the future of theatre. Drawing upon their research creation project called Massey and Me: Conversations at the End of Theatre, SGS will share knowledge and insight into what our “zoo” to quote David Maggs, looks like and how we can move out of this “zoo” mentality and into thriving ecosystems that nurture artistic risk-taking and community building.
Step into the Pitch Rooms, a key component of our Industry Stages that reimagines the way artists and stakeholders make things happen. This unique event moves beyond traditional, formal pitches, inviting 10 Nova Scotian companies to engage in dynamic twenty-minute conversations with international, national, and regional industry change-makers across three intimate rooms.
Embracing the Power of Dialogue:
The focus on conversation fosters relationship building, valuable feedback, and an organic exchange between artists and panel. Attendees have a unique opportunity to be a fly on the wall, learning from these interactive pitch sessions and elevating their professional development.
Choose Your Adventure:
As a participant, tailor your experience by moving between rooms or staying in one, depending on your interests. Or, join fellow artists and industry professionals in the rotunda for networking and idea exchange.
Reinventing the Artistic Journey:
Together, we'll explore fresh ways to approach touring and pitching in a post-pandemic world, opening doors for potential bookings and fostering a more engaging, collaborative atmosphere.
As the Pitch Rooms event unfolds, seamlessly transition through a space designed as a welcoming place for taking a break. This inviting atmosphere encourages attendees to keep connecting with fellow participants, share insights and experiences from the pitches, and forge lasting relationships in a setting that feels like a home away from home and work.
'I CAN HELP WITH THAT':
In the fourth space, designed to nurture connections and collaborative opportunities, you'll find a feature to facilitate community support. Share your needs or project ideas on the board, and peruse others' contributions. If you can assist with a request, place an "I can help with that" sticker with your name on the post. Revel in uncovering new partnerships and contributing to the vibrant, supportive theatre community we're cultivating within this inviting environment.
Discover the Festival Salon, the grand finale of our Industry Series, designed as a collaborative space for participants to reflect on their experiences over the past three days. This open forum invites you to share your thoughts, insights, and observations, fostering a sense of unity as we envision a future we can co-create together.
Embracing Collective Wisdom:
The Festival Salon highlights the value of shared experiences and reflection, offering attendees the opportunity to actively shape the future of our artistic community.
A Collaborative Path Forward:
Under the guidance of Stages Curator Kat McCormack, this conversation encourages open dialogue, genuine critique, and feedback to inform the development of future festivals and industry events.
Join us for this unique opportunity to connect with fellow attendees, exchange perspectives, and contribute to a vibrant, inclusive future for our artistic community. Together, we'll create a lasting impact that resonates beyond the event.
These partners, carefully curated from various backgrounds such as experienced producers, agents, marketing experts, and cultural institutions, actively contribute to our gathering’s values and objectives. They will play a significant role in empowering artists and fostering connections, designed to bolster artists’ efforts to export and expand their reach.
2023 Creative Cohort:
Sarah Garton Stanley (SGS) (Yarmouth) is a renowned theatre professional with an extensive background in directing, dramaturgy, and artistic leadership. Currently working with the National Arts Centre's (NAC) National Creation Fund.
Maiko Yamamoto (Vancouver) is known internationally for her work, and has created over 20 new works for the company, drawing upon her love of formal inventiveness and exploration, conceptual play, creative research, artist-centered processes and experimental and multidisciplinary practice.
Natasha MacLellan (New Brunswick) has been working in New Play Development in Atlantic Canada for almost fifteen years. Natasha moved to Fredericton, NB to become the 13th Artistic Director of Theatre New Brunswick.
Guðrún Þórsdóttir (Iceland) is an experienced project manager and festival director, with many years of professional experience in the fields of cultural and educational activities. She has worked on various projects such as the execution management of A! Performance Art Festival, and the Art Summer in Akureyri. She has worked as a project manager and assistant director in the theater productions of Kristján Ingimarsson and Magnús Geir Þórðarson. Since 2015, Gudrun Thorsdottir managed the A! Performance Art Festival in Akureyri, an annual festival of performance art in collaboration with the Akureyri Art Museum, MAk Cultural Association of Akureyri, HEIM Video Art Festival and Lókal. The festival hosted 2,000 guests. She is finishing her MA degree in Cultural administration.
Oliver Armstrong (Calgary) is a theatre kid with a 25 year career as a stage manager, production manager, producer and educator. A graduate of Toronto Metropolitan University, he began at Harbourfront Centre running festivals, and festivals are where his heart remains.
Katie Roberts (Vancouver) has been working as a Producer, Project and Programme Manager in theatre and festivals for over 15 years in London, Edinburgh and Vancouver. Most recently Katie was Programme Manager for Edinburgh International Book Festival, the largest public celebration of the written word in the world and during the covid-19 pandemic worked in local government as Arts Development Programmer for the London Borough of Richmond.
Nicole Rousseau (Newfoundland) is a Theatre Director and Creator from St. John’s NL. She holds a BFA from Memorial University of NL (Grenfell Campus) and is currently pursuing an MA in Dramaturgical Theory from the University of Ottawa. Nicole is the current Artistic Animateur for RCA Theatre Company and a past recipient of the Rhonda Payne Award from Arts NL.
Creative Research: Documenting the Artistic Process and Community Impact
Creative Research is a unique, ongoing research initiative aimed at deepening our understanding of the artistic process and the impact of our Industry Series on the theatre community. Through private interviews with artists, audience members, and event participants, our researcher will gather insights, observations, and experiences from multiple perspectives.
Each year, the findings from Creative Research will be compiled and published as a comprehensive document, providing valuable insights into the growth, development, and evolution of the artistic community. Over the next three years, we will revisit and report on these findings annually, allowing us to trace the ongoing impact of our event and better understand the factors that contribute to artistic success.
This research initiative is a testament to our commitment to fostering a vibrant, inclusive, and innovative theater community, where artists and industry stakeholders can learn, grow, and thrive together.